Anna Frenkel

3 July 1911
Samara, Russia
18 August 2001
Barrister and Lawyer
Alternative Names
  • Ginsbourg, Anna (birth name)

Anna Frenkel (nee Ginsbourg) was born in Samara, in the Pale of Settlement for Jews in Czarist Russia. Owing to political unrest following the Bolshevik Revolution, Frenkel and her parents resettled in Harbin in Manchuria. It was here that Frenkel attended high school and also met Jacob Nahum Frenkel, a graduate in civil engineering and the man she would later marry. She earned a law degree from the Law School established in Harbin by expatriate Russian academics before settling in Shanghai to work as a journalist. Among her publications during this time was Shanghai, City of Refuge; she also co-edited a Russian-Jewish publication: Our Life. After marrying Frenkel in 1938, in 1939 she gave birth to a son: Robert; following the war, she also had a daughter: Emily. Frenkel was admitted to the Bar of New South Wales on 7 February 1964. She was a member of the Research Committee of the Women Lawyers' Association of New South Wales. At the Bar, she specialised in family law, an area in which she became an authority. In 1971, her book entitled Your Family and the Law was published. Frenkel was awarded a PhD by Macquarie University for a thesis on Soviet Jewish emigration to Australia. In 1987 she travelled to Shanghai to participate in a short film, "Escape to the Rising Sun", on wartime residents of Shanghai; she was also featured in the book Women of Ku-ring-gai, published by the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society in 1999. Frenkel died at the age of 90 in 2001.

Sources used to compile this entry: Frenkel, Anna, Your family and the law, Sydney, 1971; Frenkel, Anna, Marriage in Australia : a cultural view of law, Sydney, 1979; Frenkel, Anna, Soviet Jewish emigrants in Australia : problems of multidimensional integration, Sydney, 1987; Ginsbourg, Anna & Rudolph, Julius & China Weekly Review, Jewish refugees in Shanghai,, China Weekly Review, 1941; Malcher, Helen & Ku-ring-gai Historical Societ, Women of Ku-ring-gai : a tribute, Ku-ring-gai Historical Societ, Gordon, NSW, 1999; Messmer, Mattias,, Jewish Wayfarers in Modern China: Tragedy and Splendour, Lexington Books, 2012; 'Anna Frenkel - Biography', Courtesy of Dr Robert (Bob) Frenkel, 22 March 2016; The Ryerson Index (See: 'Frenkel, Anna', The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 20 August 2001, p. 40); New South Wales Law Almanac for 1966, V. C. N. Blight, Government Printer, Sydney, 1966, pp. 81, 91, 95; New South Wales Law Almanac for 1967, V. C. N. Blight Government Printer, New South Wales, 1967, pp. 81, 91, 95; 1973, pp. 82, 90; 1984, pp. 76, 106; 'NAA: A1630, 4394', National Archives of Australia; 'Australian Attorney Does Extra Duty', The Blade: Toledo, 13 January 1965, p. 22,,4071975&hl=en, accessed online 17 January 2016; 'When 25 years service means nothing', The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 January 1973, p. 7,,7901282&hl=en, accessed online 28 February 2016; 'Non-intervention in children with major handicaps', Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp. 217-222, December 1983,, accessed online 28 February 2016.

Prepared by Juliette Brodsky and Marina Loane